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Brelsford Motors reaches century milestone in Muncy

By Staff | Feb 24, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED The 1921 scene from Brelsford Motors appeared on post cards sent throughout the community by George Brelsford announcing the opening of his new business in Muncy.

MUNCY – Three generations of the Brelsford family have been in the driver’s seat at Brelsford’s Motors and Equipment Company in Muncy. All family owner’s given names begin with the letter “G,” George, Glenn and Gary. Their’s is quiet possibly the oldest remaining family business in the borough.

Beginning in 1913 when automobiles were in their infancy, George Brelsford, a native of Blooming Grove, had his first job with the West Branch Motor Car Company in Williamsport. Frequent trips to Muncy put him in contact with an acquaintance among a group of local bankers financing a newly reconstructed garage for owner L. H. Vermilya at 37 North Main Street. Earlier the site had been a blacksmith shop, a location literally seeing power provided by horses change to horse powered vehicles.

According to grandson Gary Brelsford, “Granddad got his beginning in business providing gasoline motors to run belts powering machinery in industry and farming.”

After eight years the property was sold to George who became the first new car dealer ever to locate in Muncy, officially opening Feb. 28, 1921. “My grandfather purchased 500 postcards sending them out to the community announcing the opening of his business,” said Gary Brelsford. The current and third generation owner also identified two original employees as Frank Reuther and Forest Shadduck.

For ten years until discontinued, Brelsford sold Reo cars taking over the Oldsmobile-Chrysler line, before switching to the ill-fated Kaiser, Willys and Henry J series. Gary said that, “At one time in the borough, there were five dealers selling new cars including Steins, Chrysler-Plymouth; Murray, Ford-Mercury; Gilbert, Chevrolet; Eakers, Nash-Rambler and us.”

RUTH FRY/The Luminary Gary Brelsford, third generation owner of the Brelsford family business in Muncy, remains at the original site purchased by his grandfather on Feb. 28, 1921. There has been expansions to buildings and property added to the century old business.

In 1938 until 2017, Brelsfords were contracted as a bus service by the Muncy School District. The 79-year long relationship ended and was sold to what is now Susquehanna Transit. Family members remaining involved with the bus fleet are Gary’s son Curt, and Gary’s sister, Ann Buck who manage the Muncy Branch of Susquehanna Transportation. Gary’s wife Ann was a bus driver of 35 years. School transportation of students began with three 1938 Chevy buses increasing to its current number of 15 buses and vans.

Gary retired from bus driving he’d begun at age 21 and over 52 years remained free of accidents and citations. “I still get up at 4:30 a.m. and out an hour later running the remaining parts of the business.” he said.

Scott, Gary’s brother is active in the business as an auto technicion and towing and recovery specialist.

The property has grown from a house, show room and garage, to three houses and several bus garages. There is also a fenced area where vehicles involved in traffic accidents are kept per state regulations.

Involvement in the community has been a hallmark with the Brelsford family. John B. Brelsford, George’s father, was in the first class to graduate from Muncy Normal School in 1870. With his teacher’s certificate, he taught at the Quaker Hill School along what is now Northway Road.

George, served 14 years on the school board of the Muncy District being treasurer keeping track of pledges for the new school in 1932.

Glenn Brelsford, second generation owner, continued in community volunteerism as a seven year member of borough council, being president six of those years. He became manager of a local Little League team. Partly due to his 25-year involvement, the Green Street ball field was named posthumously, the J. Glenn Brelsford Memorial Field after his 1985 death.

Third generation Gary Brelsford, like his forefathers was also involved in the community. He was a member of the fire company active for 22 years and due to the death of his father became an inactive member.

Gary, at age 74, has no intentions of retiring but says he takes time off for deer and bear hunting. He concluded by saying, “I like being in the woods, riding around in my UTV with friends and family.”